Deputy Minister of Education, Alhaji Rashid Bawa, on Thursday expressed concern at the large number of children of school going age who are not in school in spite of modest achievements made under the Free Compulsory and Universal Basic Education (FCUBE).
He said records indicated that at the primary level there were 2.5 million places for a school age population of about 4 million while places in JSS/SSS are 200,000 and 800,000 respectively.
Alhaji Bawa, who said this when he launched the Ghana-Canada Students Chamber Education and Community Development Fund at the University of Cape Coast also expressed concern that the universities were also able to admit only 40 percent of qualified applicants.
Ten brilliant but needy primary pupils from the Presbyterian Model Basic School at Amamoma were given scholarships from the grant.
Alhaji Bawa said the education sector needed the support of all, since the government alone could not shoulder that responsibility.
He commended the students for setting up the fund to cater for needy children from deprived communities, saying the proliferation of education funds and other schemes to improve education have " given hope to the government that incessant calls on individuals, corporate bodies and other stakeholders was receiving positive attention.''
Alhaji Bawa however, cautioned the students against turning their organisation into a beehive of passport, visa and foreign travels contractors and to ensure that they maintained the objectives for which it was set up.
He also advised the beneficiaries, whom he described as lucky to take their education seriously and to justify the confidence and trust reposed in them.
Mr Andrews Awuni, Special Assistant to the Vice President, who accompanied the Minister, expressed concern that some Ghanaians had misinterpreted the adoption of the HIPC initiative and were refusing to accept any explanation given.
He spoke of the immense benefit being derived from the HIPC relief fund that wass being used to improve education facilities, among others.
Mr Dela Adzanku, President of the Chamber disclosed that part of the fund would also be used for research work and stressed his organisation's determination to improve upon education in the country.
An appeal for funds at the function yielded 3.7 million cedis.